Hoda Elsobky is a happiness mentor and an author who has written the book "Dare to be happy". Can you train to be happy? Is Hoda always happy? Brainz Magazine interviewed the queen of happiness.
First of all, introduce yourself. Who is Hoda?
- I was born in Cairo, Egypt, and graduated from the American University in Cairo in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. I majored in economics with a minor in business administration. Later, I received an MBA in marketing. My greatest interest lies in the fields of philosophy and positive- psychology, with a focus on self-help and wellness. Above all, I am passionate about happiness as a way of living! - I have worked in multinational IT companies in Egypt, like IBM and Oracle, in sales, marketing, and business development capacity, from 1994-2005. At that point, I flew with my husband to live in Vienna for three years and then to Dubai. There I discovered my passion for writing.
Tell us a little bit about your book Dare To Be Happy?
- My first book, "Dare To Be Happy", was released in December 2018 in print format in the USA, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East; and the e-book now has distribution from more than 70 online partners serving readers across the globe. - In my book, I provided complete guidance and tested tips to take the reader from a stage of puzzlement and confusion to a superior level of Eternal Happiness. It takes the reader on a journey from the various definitions of happiness across history to the most contemporary descriptions of it in our world today. It guides us on a journey through what I call " The Royal Phase of Happiness". - "Dare to be Happy is a profound resource. It helps us in a multi-dimensional way to formulate, understand and develop our human skills and reach a stage of complete contentment in life". Azza Elashmawy, Seceretary-General , National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, Egypt. - I believe that people may vary in their dreams and aspirations, but they all share one thing: They all want to be happy! I revealed my success strategies, which will help you to discover where true happiness lies and how it can last forever. Through the book, one will find the tools, steps, and actions you need to take to get all happiness and success that you deserve. It will help you go the extra mile, not only to be happy, but to stay happy! - Since the release of my book, my life has completely changed and wonders happened to me. I was featured in many well-known newspapers and magazines, 5 widely known TV channels interviewed me.
"We are born happy, and then our happiness slops down"
Do you consider yourself happy, and can you train to be happy?
- Wherever I go, people keep on asking me this question. The truth is that I am a normal person at the end of the day, and my happiness meter is usually between 7-8/10. In my twenties, my happiness was definitely below that, and it was kind of unstable and inconsistent, especially by the age of 23. This goes well along with the concept of the "U-shaped" curve for happiness, discussed by Jonathan Rauch in his book " The Happiness Curve", where he explained why life gets better after 50, and how the U-shape concept works for us, as age versus happiness.
- We are born happy, and then our happiness slops down as a U shape till age 44, which is the bottom of the U, then it starts getting up again through 50-60s and so on. Now, I just passed this bottom line of 44, and after I have written my book and got certified in The Science of Happiness, I can claim with full confidence that my happiness is now stable and more consistent. In addition, whenever I am faced with some sad events in life- as this is always the case, no one can be happy all the time, and no one can be sad all the time- I can now revert easily to my standard threshold of happiness.
- This lead us to the question, can we train ourselves to be happy? Definitely yes. Our brains are wired to be optimistic , and we tend to think of ourselves as happier than other people. To overcome periods of depression and low energy, I would like to build a strong foundation in your character, rather than short term fixes. Following are three of my best tips to help you build a base to becoming resilient in the face of devastating events or recurring depressions.
If I feel depressed or low and quickly need to get positive energy. As an expert, what are your top 3 tips?
The mindset: - It all starts in the mindset, and it comes with a decision if not a promise to yourself, to be happy. If you take this decision to be happy, you adjust your mindset to it, and you will notice a great shift in your perspectives toward life and toward life's events. You will start to see challenges as opportunities, and you will begin to see positives in the negatives. This whole process happens from within, and it has nothing to do with the world outside.
Be Proactive: - Simply nothing happens until you do, I believe that life does not happen to you; you happen to life. Your goals and dreams will not be realized by just wishing for them, but by acting on them. Same for happiness, it should be well-deserved, and you should be worthy of it.
Learn to Forgive and to let go: - Study after study of Forgiveness shows that forgiving others, which have caused you harm, systematically reduces personal distress and fosters Happiness. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor it means reconciling. Instead, it means changing your attitude toward the original hurt, so it does not continue to hurt you. As a matter of fact, there is a physiological impact to not forgiving like elevated heart rates and blood pressure.
What does the future look like for you? What is your next goal? Are you writing a new book?
- About my future plans and goals this year and specifically during the quarantine period, I found it to be an excellent opportunity to upgrade my technical skills and to make complete digital transformation of my work. Thereby, I executed my first training and workshop online (through Webinar). I launched my happiness club:"Hoda Elsobky's Happiness Club" to be an online platform for international Authors, whereby I discuss with them a chosen book of theirs, and discuss with them their secret formula to Happiness.
- I also launched the #Monday Live, where I give audiences a glimpse of a specific topic that I consider important to self-development and growth. These, among many others. My plan now is to launch more online products and services by the end of this year.
We look forward to reading your articles in the Magazine and give you the possibility to share your knowledge. What kind of content can our readers expect from you?
- I am so happy to be joining the online Magazine Brainz, as an Executive Contributor and to be part of their exclusive articles about Business, Mindset, Innovation, Leadership and lifestyle. I will focus on Personal-Growth, as growth on all levels has always been one of my key values in life- and that is since I was 18 years old, and as I am a strong advocate of happiness as a way of living, I will contribute with all new studies, researches done on that perspective, I will provide readers with all my successful tips, strategies and tools to reach not only happiness, but true and eternal happiness.
You can buy "Dare to happy" here and stay tuned for her upcoming articles!
Hoda Elsobky, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Hoda was born in Cairo, Egypt. Graduated from the American University in Cairo in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majored in Economics and minor in Business Administration. Later, She received her MBA in Marketing. Her greatest interest lies in the fields of philosophy and positive psychology, with a focus on self help and wellness. Above all, she is passionated about happiness as a way of living! She have worked in multinational IT companies in Egypt, like IBM and Oracle, in sales, marketing and business development capacity, from 1994 till 2005. At that point she flew with her husband to live in Vienna for three years and then to Dubai. There she discovered her passion for writing.